Vybz Kartel files defamation suit against outgoing Jamaican police commissioner

Vybz Kartel has filed a defamation lawsuit against now retired Jamaican police commissioner, Owen Ellington following Ellington's comments on a local TV show in April.by Jodee Brown

Imprisoned Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel has signaled his intent to sue recently retired Jamaican police commissioner, Owen Ellington and Television Jamaica (TVJ) over comments he made on a local television show in April, claiming the deejay was the head of a gang responsible for over 100 murders islandwide.

According to reports Monday, the polarizing entertainer, who was convicted of and given a life sentence for the 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams in March, has decided to file the multi-million dollar civil lawsuit, through his legal team before the end of this week,. His lead lawyer, Tom-Tavares Finson confirmed the lawsuit with ZIP FM Monday afternoon, but later told IRIE FM that he will not representing Kartel for this case.

Ellington, who had been the head of the Jamaica Constabulary Force since 2009, told the Television Jamaica (TVJ) show, All Angles, “Vybz Kartel led a gang which was responsible for over 100 murders, and we have been telling the country this for a long, long time. Every time we moved against this gang, we were criticized, we were condemned and we were accused of being malicious against this individual. In fact, if you look at his defense, what was his defense? That there was a conspiracy on the part of the police.”

According to court documents, the comments made by Ellington were an attempt to sully Kartel’s character and cause contempt and ridicule, suggesting he never made any attempt to retract his comments and that TVJ have made no effort to distance themselves from said remarks.

There has been no evidence presented to support Ellington’s comments, which caused a stir locally, causing many to wonder why the ex-commissioner would make them after Kartel’s conviction and subsequent sentencing just weeks earlier. Tavares-Finson himself called the comments out of line, saying they were an attempt to prejudice Kartel’s appeal.

Ellington shocked many when he announced his resignation from the police force last week, citing his, “need to separate himself from the leadership and management of the Force prior to the commencement of the upcoming Commission of Enquiry into the conduct of the Operations of the Security Forces in Western Kingston and other areas during the limited State of Emergency in 2010,” according to a press release by Jamaica’s ministry of security.

He had served in various parts of the police force for over 30 years.

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Debut album from Popcaan reaches number two on Billboard Reggae chart

by Jodee Brown Where We Come From, the debut album from popular Dancehall star, Popcaan, has entered Billboard Magazine’s Reggae albums chart at number two, just two weeks after its unveiling, according to reports Wednesday. The former Portmore Empire standout’s project only trails Rebelution’s Count Me In on the chart and is one of four albums by Jamaican artists in the top 10, with Ziggy Marley’s Fly Rasta at number three, Bob Marley and the Wailers’ Legend: Remixed at number five and Jo Mersa Marley’s EP, Comfortable holding down ninth spot. Featuring 13 tracks, Where We Come From features a blend of Dancehall, Reggae and hip-hop sounds, with efforts such as The System, Everything Nice and Hustle standing out, the latter a collaboration with former Clipse rapper, Pusha TThe album is produced by American label, Mixpak Records and executive produced by the label’s lead hit maker, Dre Skull. Major foreign media outlets such as The Guardian and the Washington Posthave recommended Where We Come From as a must listen, with the former saying Popcaan’s effort ‘creates a warped take on synth-fueled urban pop, breathing new life into old sounds.” Popcaan has featured on the Billboard charts before, entering the magazine’s R&B/Hip Hop chart in 2012 with his hit single, Only Man She Want. Since then, he released the well-received Yiy Change mixtape as well as the Unruly EP. A former protégé of incarcerated Dancehall superstar, Vybz KartelPopcaan burst onto the international scene in 2010, featuring on Kartel’s chart-topping hit, Clarks along with Vanessa Bling. Chart-topping hits such as Dream, Party Shot, Ravin and others followed. Some of his standout songs in 2014 include Tie Mi on the UIM Records-produced Punjabi Riddim, Da Ting Deh on the JA Productions-produced Overdrive Riddim and Only Jah Know on the Notnice-produced Devotion Riddim.

Mavado talks in-depth about Bounty Killer feud

Mavado has sent some stinging words in the direction of Bounty Killer, speaking in depth about his feud with his ex-mentor for the first time.by Jodee Brown

Dancehall star, Mavado has opened up about his ongoing feudwith former mentor and Alliance leader, Bounty Killer, claiming a lack of respect, among other things have cause the falling out between the two deejays.

Mavado appeared on CVM’s OnStage talk show, aired Saturday night, speaking from the We The Best Music Group headquarters about the issues between himself and Bounty. In the interview,Mavado held nothing back, joking that Bounty must be ‘mixing Hennessey with crack,’ after questioning his loyalty to the Allianceand calling him a ‘sellout,’ saying he’s always shown his ex-mentor respect.

“Mi stand up beside yuh straight and mi show yuh loyalty and respect straight, everywhere inna di world mi go, mi she big up Killa when yuh nah dweet,” he said. “How Killa fi get up and she mi nuh show loyalty and who sellout. Weh u mean by dat Killa? A your actions mek we inna da spot hah today.”

Mavado then brought up the fatal shooting outside the QUADnightclub in Kingston in 2011, outside Bounty Killer’s birthday party, which claimed the life of his best friend, Conroy ‘Connie’ Edwards.He says Bounty acted disloyal in the first place by having the party at a club which was partially owned by then rival deejay, Vybz Kartel. However, his biggest gripe remains that Bounty never sent condolences to him about his loss, instead blaming him for ruining his party.

“After what happen at the club, Killa still couldn’t tell mi condolences fi mi friend,” he said. “Him couldn’t look pon mi fren mother, daughter, family and seh simple condolences, and remember she is a ute weh u know too,” saying Bounty used to have Edwards run errands for him and even hung out with him and Mavado the week before the shooting.

Following a slew of diss songs Bounty Killer aimed at Mavado, the ‘Gully Gaad’ maintained that the songs were not up to par, saying Bounty sounded ‘hungry’ more than angry. He even said he went to great lengths to defend his then mentor, but never felt he got enough credit for it.

“Me a di defending champion fi di Alliance, when you nah do nutten, when a man a diss you to the last ground and you couldn’t defend yuhself. Mi loyal to the Alliance weh mi help mek.”

Not only did Mavado speak openly about his issues with Bounty, he took shots at former Alliance teammate, Busy Signal, who he called an ‘idiot’ and ‘Gary Reanno Gordon,’ in reference to Busy’s hit One More Night in which some music listeners said Busy mentioned ‘Gary’ in the song.

“Oooh, mi sell platinum and this and that. 30,000 streaming inna Europe. Platinum? Yuh a gwaan like yuh sell a million copy Busy. Stop talk and top gwaan suh Busy,” Mavado said in response to Bumaye, Busy’s single with Major Lazer which went platinum in Denmark.

“Yuh nah no street cred Busy. We nuh see yuh no weh. How yah talk bout ‘di General, di General,’ and nobody nuh see yuh and Killa a par fi years now,” he added, which also calling Busy an imitation of legendary artists Shabba Ranksand Terror Fabulous.

Meanwhile, We The Best Music Group founder, DJ Khaled also spoke on the Bounty-Mavado feud, tellingOnStage, “Mavado is my friend and I heard things in the street that there is a little vibe going on… But at the end of the day Mavado will tell you I am always going to promote love and promote peace and I am always going to promote positivity because that is what a real friend is going to do.”

He also hopes for a future peace collaboration between Bounty and Mavado, writing on his Instagram page, “Everyone always ask me what’s a collaboration u would love to make happen. I tell the world I would love to make a rec wit @mavadogully @grunggaadzilla ! Jamaica STAND UP! #Alliance #wethebest the people the streets want to see this happen!! I’m going go hard and find away to make it happen !!! Jah know!!!!”

Watch the full OnStage interview with Mavado here: http://www.youtube.com/user/OnstageTVJamaica/videos

 

Vybz Kartel Reggae album to be released in June

A new Reggae album from Vybz Kartel, 'Reggae Love Songs and Other Things,' will be released on June 3.by Jodee Brown

A Reggae album by incarcerated Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartelwill be released in early June, according to reports Saturday, marking the first compilation by the deejay since being convicted of murder in March.

The 14-track album, Reggae Love Songs and Other Things, is produced by Short Boss Musik, the label founded by Kartel’s common-law wife, Tanesha ‘Shorty’ Johnson. It will feature a number of songs released since Kartel’s conviction under his Addi Innocent moniker, including Crashing Head On, Can’t Call This a Love Song, Miami Vice Episode, Downtown Kingston, My Love My Love and Love Mummy, featuring PG13, a group comprised of Kartel’s sons, Little Vybz and Little Addi.

Reggae Love Songs and Other Things also showcases production from TJ Records, So Unique Records and Bigga DonDon. The album largely showcases songs speaking on social issues, love and other topics.

A release from Short Boss Musik says that despite Vybz Kartel’s situation, his music will forever live on, saying, “music cannot be imprisoned.”

Reggae Love Songs and Other Things will officially be released on June 3, via iTunes and will be distributed by 21st Hapilos andJohnny Wonder. However, music lovers can pre-order the album on iTunes right now.

Vybz Kartel is currently serving a life sentence for the August 2011 murder of Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams at a St. Andrew residence. He will not be eligible for parole for 35 years, however, he and his legal team have long signaled their intention to appeal the conviction.

A few Kartel albums have been released since his September 2011, including Kartel Forever: Trilogy and The Voice Of The Jamaican Ghetto – Incarcerated but not Silenced, a roots Reggae album based on his book with the same name

Earlier this month, a gospel song by Kartel, Ordinary Servant was released. That song was produced by TJ Records.

Kartel calls for end to threats made following murder conviction

Dancehall star, Vybz Kartel says fans making threats against journalists and others following his recent murder conviction are only doing him more harm than good.

Dancehall star, Vybz Kartel says fans making threats against journalists and others following his recent murder conviction are only doing him more harm than good.

by Jodee Brown

Embattled Dancehall star, Vybz Kartel has called for fans and others top stop making threats against journalists and members of the public in the aftermath of his March murder conviction in the Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams trial.

Since the verdict and subsequent life sentence on April 3, several threats have been made against journalists due to their coverage of the trial, as well as telecommunications giant, Digicel following voice notes implicating Kartel in the lead up to when the murder allegedly took place. Nationwide News reporter, Abka Fitz-Henley received some of said threats after playing some of the voice notes obtained by the local radio station following the trial.

An editor at the Jamaica Observer faced similar treatment after it was alleged he was the author a story that broke Sunday citing an unnamed police source as saying Kartel had given them information on wanted men in his native Portmore in exchange for the possible dismissal of his murder charge, a claim the deejay’s lawyer later refuted.

In a statement released Tuesday morning, Kartel said persons making these threats should cease and desist, insisting they are not making his situation any easier.

“I appeal to any misguided individual or individuals who may think it appropriate to seek to threaten or intimidate anyone to stop it,” he said. “Such action is not helping me or my fellow appellants and is playing into the hands of the police and others who are seeking to discredit me and prejudice the fair hearing of my appeal.”

Speaking out for the second time since his conviction, Kartel also said he harbors no negativity towards those involved in his trial.

“During my sentencing hearing, my attorney, Tom Tavares-Finson, indicated to the court that I hold no ill-will to any of the persons involved in my trial, neither the police, prosecutors, executives from Digicel and certainly not any member of the media who covered my trial in a manner which exposed the weaknesses in the prosecution’s case for all the world to see,” he said.

“I reiterate the position, I hold no ill-will to anyone who was involved in my trial, and I put my faith in the judicial system and the appeal process on which we have now embarked. In the meantime I thank my family, friends and fans who continue to support and have faith in me.”

Meanwhile, Kartel’s family has spoken of their own fears following Sunday’s revelation about the deejay’s alleged offer to rat out criminals in exchange of freedom. The story, which also revealed Kartel’s alleged ties to the Klansman Gang, as well as more incriminating video evidence in the Williams murder trial, has the family concerned about possible retribution.

“This is endangering the lives of Adidja Palmer’s family, his siblings, and his girlfriend,” Maureen Nelson, Kartel’s eldest sister, told the Jamaica Observer. “When a news like this come on the radio and we don’t know if it is credible, we don’t know the source… and they don’t think about how it is affecting our lives.”

“Everybody is now crying. We thought that when he got sentenced to life in prison it would be over,” she continued. “We are locked up in the house right now. We have fears of reprisals and I don’t even know how John public will react to us.”

His mother, Teresa Palmer expressed her anger at the police’s revelations in the article and other news outlets, saying they had ulterior motives when divulging all this information long after the trial’s conclusion.

“When him a go come and a seh how much people Kartel kill and that never come out in the trial, him not doing him job,” she told the newspaper. “Why now when dem done tell lie seh him kill man and dem no find no body and police tamper with the evidence and give him life sentence dem a go seh all these things?” Palmer asked. “Why are all these things coming out now?”

Ninja Man murder trial set for November after attempt to throw out case rejected

Dancehall artist, Ninja Man has been given a November court date where he is set to stand trial in the Richard Johnson murder trial.by Jodee Brown

After Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel was convicted of murder and subsequently sentenced to life in prison, another legend of the genre will have to wait several more months before his long-awaited murder trial is finally set in motion.

On Monday, Desmond Ballentine, more popularly known as Ninja Man appeared in a Kingston courtwhere he was scheduled to kick off the trial. However, the deejay, through his attorney, K.D. Knight, issued an application to have the case thrown out.

Knight argued that the case against Ninja Man and two co-accused should be dismissed given a breach of the constitutional rights, considering the length of time the case has yet to be tried. That application was soon rejected by the presiding judge, who then issued a November 10 date for the commencement of the trial.

Monday’s court proceedings took place just over five years after the fatal shooting of Richard Johnson in March 2009. The deejay was charged with murder, conspiracy to murder, shooting with intent and illegal possession of a firearm in relation to the incident. Ninja Man’s son, Janiel Ballentine and another man, Dennis Clayton were jointly charged in the incident.

The trial has endured several delays since then, though Ninja Man has been on bail since March 2012 and has since revived his nearly three-decade-long career after joining forces with Downsound Records.

Vybz Kartel and Shawn Storm speak out after life sentence, maintain innocence

Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel and his former Portmore Empire running mate, Shawn Storm continue to maintain their innocence despite their March 13 conviction on murder charges in the Clive 'Lizard' Williams trial.by Jodee Brown

Incarcerated Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel and long-time protégé, Shawn Storm have spoken out for the first time since their convictions and subsequent life sentence on murder charges in the Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams murder charges.

The two, along with Kahira Jones and Andre ‘Mad Suss’ St. John were sentenced Thursday, with Kartel not eligible for parole for the first 35 years of his sentence, while Shawn Storm will not be eligible until 25 years into his sentence. On Friday, the pair issued short, handwritten statements thanking fans for their undying support while continuing to maintain their innocence in spite of the convictions.

Kartel’s note said, “I would first like to again reiterate that I never killed Clive Williams nor did I order his killing. To my family I want to say thank you for being there for me. Equally to my fans whose unremitting support matters to me! Bless, Kartel.”

Shawn Storm offered similar sentiments to his supporters.

“To the fans and fams I am an innocent man and I am just saying I am good and in great health and spirit,” he said. “So from me to the fans and ma fams and my mother, daughter and family I am confident that in the long run I will be vindicated.”

Meanwhile, voice notes used as evidence against Kartel and his co-accused were released to Jamaican media on Friday, telling a damning tale of the events leading up to August 2011 murder of Williams. In said voice notes, which can be heard in their entirety here, Kartel continuously references the disappearance of ‘shoes,’ a code word for guns, according to testimony from the Crown’s main witness, Lamar Chow. An agitated Kartel can be heard threatening that if Chow or Williams did not find said ‘shoes’ by nightfall, one or both could face fatal consequences.

Additionally, the Police High Command issued a statement lauding the work done by law enforcement in the case while revealing the challenges encountered during the trial, detailing accusations of witness tampering, death threats, obeah ritualism and attempts to pervert the course of justice. The full statement can be read here.

Kartel, along with two others, faces an Aug. 11 court date, facing two conspiracy charges in relation to the Williams case.

 

Vybz Kartel sentenced to life in prison for murder

Dancehall superstar, Vybz Kartel and three of his co-accused have been sentenced to life in prison for the murder of Clive 'Lizard' Willaimsby Jodee Brown

Controversial Dancehall superstar, Adidja Palmer, more popularly known as Vybz Kartel has been sentenced to life in prison for the August 2011 murder of St. Catherine-based dancer, Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams following a hearing in the Home Circuit Court in Kingston on Thursday.

The deejay will not be eligible for parole for the first 35 years of his prison term, when he is 73 years old. His co-accused, Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre ‘Mad Suss’ St. John were also sentenced to life in prison, with the men not eligible for parole until 25, 25 and 30 years into their respective sentences, handed down by Supreme Court justice, Lennox Campbell.

Kartel was decked out in a full white suit and white shirt as he appeared cool and calm upon waiting for the judge’s ruling. Similar to last week’s hearing, the deejay maintained his innocence before the court, saying, through his lawyers, that he would not beg for mercy and accept the punishment handed down.

Justice Campbell that made a summation, saying there was premeditation and planning about the murder, while saying there was much distress for the family of the deceased Williams. He then handed down the sentences shortly before 11:30 a.m. Jamaican time.

Kartel’s legal team has indicated they will appeal his murder conviction before the end of this year.

Part of downtown Kingston was blocked a group of his loyal supporters gathered outside the courthouse, expressing anger and dismay at the sentencing, with some expressing uncontrollable sadness.

Judge in Kartel case may not allow deejay to record in prison

Vybz Kartel awaits sentencing following a murder conviction. Meanwhile the judge considers allowing him to record in prison.

Vybz Kartel awaits sentencing following a murder conviction. Meanwhile the judge considers allowing him to record in prison.

by Jodee Brown

With incarcerated deejay, Vybz Kartel awaiting sentencing on his recent murder conviction in the Clive ‘Lizard’ Williams, doubt is now being cast on whether or not the entertainer will be permitted to record in prison as the presiding judge in said case may not let him do so.

During Kartel’s sentencing hearing on Thursday, Supreme Court Justice, Lennox Campbell said he was pondering whether or not to make a ruling allowing the deejay to record songs while in jail, saying he was not sure such an option was available.

One case Justice Campbell referred to involving another convicted entertainer was Reggae superstar, Jah Cure. The singer was convicted of rape in 1999 and served eight years in prison following an alleged incident a year earlier in which he allegedly raped a robbed a woman at gunpoint. While serving time in the Tower Street Adult Correctional Centre, Cure was allowed to record a number of songs during his prison term, including hit songs, Reflections and Dem Nuh Build Great Man, which featured on his fourth album, True Reflections…A New Beginning.

“In a previous matter when a person was convicted who had some artistic talent certain things were done,” Justice Campbell told the court. “It needs to be found out whether in fact it was open to the court for any of those proceeds gained could go to repairing any of the damages to the relatives of the deceased.”

However, a former prison official told the Jamaica Observer Thursday that only if Kartel is deemed fit to be part of a rehabilitation program, depending on his conduct, by the Department of Correctional Services would he be allowed to record while incarcerated.

Since his arrest in September 2011, many music observers have suspected that Kartel has been recording behind bars, with songs such as Back To Life and others singled out as potential proof. However, his record label and long-time producer, Elvis Redwood have vehemently denied on numerous occasion that the deejay has ever recorded behind bars, citing that they were all done prior to his incarceration.

The sentencing of Vybz Kartel and his three co-accused, Shawn ‘Shawn Storm’ Campbell, Kahira Jones and Andre ‘Mad Suss’ St. John was postponed this morning until April 3 after the judge decided to facilitate written statements from defense lawyers clarifying sentencing guidelines. It is also said that Justice Campbell would like to see a member of the victim’s family attend the sentencing.

Kartel and his co-accused were convicted of Williams’ August 2011 murder in which it was alleged he was beaten and stabbed to death following a dispute over missing, illegal guns.

Bounty Killer Warns Freaky Artistes “Don’t come nasty up di dancehall”

A 'Killa' warning for freaky artistes

A ‘Killa’ warning for freaky artistes

by Curtis Campbell (Jamaica Star)

Guinness Greatest Dancehall Icon Bounty Killer has finally broken his silence on the taboo sexual direction which dancehall has taken in recent months, courtesy of the new crop of dancehall artistes.

The likes of J Amsterdam and Alkaline are perhaps front-runners as it relates to artistes who have pushed the barriers of the sexual language in dancehall. J Amsterdam releasing a song asking females to wine in his face and Alkaline admitting that he likes the anal stimulation from a female’s tongue as ‘brawta’ in his song on So Unique record’s Igloo Rhythm.

Bounty Killer, during a performance at a recent stage show, addressed some of these issues, stating that some things are better off left in the bedroom.

He also warned females about accepting Alkaline’s reference to them as ‘john crow’ in his (Alkaline’s) Bruck Out song when he deejayed, “Tonight every gyal a tun a devil, tun a heathen, tun a john crow”.

“Dem a talk bout dancehall a get kinky, but dancehall is just getting too friendly, everybody like everybody. Me nuh like everybody, me like who me like, mi nuh likey likey, mi nuh love likes. Listen mi, a years mi a sing some type a things and mi neva cross the line. Yu neva hear mi a tell girls fi duh certain things yet, because the public is the public. Suh some bwoy fi keep dem dirty life inna dem bedroom. Don’t come nasty up di dancehall and don’t mek nuh guy tell yu fi turn a dutty devil, nuh guy nu fi tell yu fi turn nuh john crow,” Bounty warned.

“Nuh mek nuh guy come try stereotype unno. Ghetto girls keep unno head up in the sky. Because most artiste just come up yah fi get a forward and guh wey, dem nuh give unno likkle insight, likkle information or something and unno help destroy unno self sometimes,” Bounty Killer told his fans.

Kartel lost his way

The artiste who introduced Vybz Kartel to the music industry also commented on his recent predicament with the law, as Bounty says the guilty verdict was the worst thing that could ever happen to dancehall.

“One of our most promising rising champions was found guilty of murder and that is the most tragic thing in dancehall and a me did find Kartel as a likkle youth and sey come mi youth. The moment him sey daddy devil an unno happy and laugh wid him, uno help destroy him. Yow, the devil nuh duh nothing beautiful, Kartel mek him soul get caught in hell. And the devil that is what they do, destroy goodness. I wish Kartel all the best and I hope unno put all the prayers you can so the appeal will be accepted. Leave it inna the hands of the Father, God work miracles another youth from the ghetto, from the slum, the system get him. We can only say a prayer, leave it to God. The whol’ a we mek mistakes, leave it to God, di whol a wi sin already,” Bounty said.

Bounty Killer then dedicated songs The Lord is my Light and Salvation and Closer Than a Brother to the incarcerated deejay.